01/03/2021 at 1:07 pm #84841
01/03/2021 at 4:59 pm #84847Steve ListParticipant
- Location: Richmond, Calif.
Numbers for December 2020. eBay store: steve-list
Total Listings: 1233
Items sold: 70
Highest Price sold: $144 – Panasonic 31 Band Radio
Average Price Sold: $20.19
Cost of Items sold: $177.25 / average cost: 2.53 each
Spent on new inventory: $32.20
Number of items listed: 54
Not counted in the numbers above is a Santa Blow Mold that I bought for $10 and sold for $60. I completely forgot about it and only came across it a couple of weeks before Christmas so I listed it on Craig’s List for $90, but I ended up taking an offer for it as I didn’t want to ship or store it any longer.
The Panasonic 31 Band Radios normally sells for a lot more but it had modifications made to it along with cosmetic issues so I gave somebody a good deal on it.
On December 18th I sold a $20 yearbook which was paid for with local pickup, but after 2 emails to the buyer and still not hearing back, I called eBay (only a 3 minute wait for a callback). They basically told me to give the buyer a few more weeks. I asked about canceling the order and issuing a refund, she said I could do that and since she made notes of the call I shouldn’t get a defect. I guess I’ll wait a while and see what happens as I am somewhat pessimistic about the defect.
01/04/2021 at 2:04 am #84853
@Julie-B , I read your comment earlier and tried to ask on older episode about you mentioning sourcing and driving to Atlanta for two hours. How long is a drive to Chattanooga, TN. I saw they have a goodwill outlet there. Could Goodwill outlet be a viable locale of sourcing for goods you are looking for?
01/04/2021 at 10:18 am #84872Julie BParticipant
- Location: Georgia
Oooh!! Thank you for thinking of me and reaching out! Chattanooga is actually a much quicker commute for me. I did not know they had an outlet. I know those can be hit or miss but I’m excited to give it a try. I can hardly wait to go. Thank you!!!
01/04/2021 at 2:10 am #84854
Jay, Ryanne, just wanted to give you an update of where I am since I last told you when I signed up for the forum earlier in 2020, I was at around 500 items. My current store count is 929 items and sold a little over $669 this week, not including shipping and before cost etc., yet I also had a return for over 70 dollars, its cool, can just resell it.
01/04/2021 at 10:50 am #84875
Congrats. Looks like your hard work is paying off. What do you do to avoid burnout?
01/05/2021 at 8:15 am #84924
Burnout hasn’t crossed my mind too much, I enjoy the freedom that having a business affords and maybe just scavenging being fun and also I have small goals like I try to put a certain amount of an item up. For example, I already have a good amount of boots up, but I want to put 100 pairs up, I did that for pants, I had a goal of 100 pair and went for that goal and got around 1oo put up. Having little goals within the business like that I think helps stave off any burnout. I have had a few moments of feeling a tinge of burnout, but it seems I get back interested in different aspects of this business. I hear often about you guys trying experiments, so these 100 items of a type of item are kind of like experiments. It is nice to have a variety of different items, but having enough of those items where they are actually selling at a decent amount, not like 8 of one type of item and selling only one every long once in a while, (if I did that, then that might get frustrating if I was focused on that one category), but if I have a large amount of a category (probably depending on category) then I see sales in the category at enough rate it seems worth it. Yet don’t get me wrong, I have tons of items that may be the only one in a given category and having that large variety of items all in different categories is cool and that is largely what I do, but I have just been trying to get a large chunk of certain categories also as I previously explained. I get all kinds of items of all kinds of categories all the time, yet I have also been focusing on having a volume of a particular category and 100 seems to be the number I like for that right now. So, I do both, many categories all the time and concentrating on building up a particular category (100 in this case).
To avoid burnout, I guess I am just stoked to not have to clock in somewhere. I enjoy being able to work on the business any hour of the day, it often feels like I am just chilling on vacation, it’s like a dream. Maybe, I am in honeymoon time, but it is a cool feeling to see stuff sell, for example I found a poster in a side of the road free bin and it sold for over 100 dollars. Even though pandemic was going on last summer I live in a large enough metro that there were plenty of garage sales, I enjoyed driving around, haggling, talking to people. I think counting my blessings consciously or just being aware of it subconsciously perhaps helps keep me from being burnt out.
01/05/2021 at 8:18 am #84925
Robb, I reposted your response because for some reason our system was hiding it.
There’s no reason why you cant continue to enjoy the scavenger lifestyle, especially if you remember working jobs you hated. Being grateful is also a good motivator.
I think the traps are “why am I not making more money like x” or “there’s more stuff I should be buying. someone else is going to get all the good stuff.”
01/04/2021 at 9:11 am #84864simplicioParticipant
Hello again and happy new year to all!
I like your taxonomy of sellers.
I think I may have mentioned before, but ebay effectively financed our buying a used minivan a few weeks ago, which was very helpful. Since our 3rd came it had become very very cramped in our old station wagon (which I am now taking over, and gave my hatchback to family).
Another slow week on ebay, but I went on an inventory buying spree. Rather stupidly, as I forgot my LLC would shortly owe taxes. Next few weeks I’ll just be hoping for good sales and trying to scrape together my $7k tax payment.
Sales: CAD$899, 8 sales, COGS: $325, Fees: ~$85, Postage: $135 –> Gross profit: $354
Expenses: $1731, New inventory: $4922 –> Cashflow: -$5974
01/04/2021 at 9:27 am #84869
Week ending 1/3
Items in Store 1412
Items Sold 25
Total Sales $1,179.95
Total Profit $1,104.95
Average profit $44.20
Average sales price $47.20
New Listings 22
I had one day where I sold multiple $100+ items. Man it would be nice to have the 200 item store of nothing but $100+ items and sell 2-3 a day. That would be the life right there.
This past year has been wild. I know it has been a disastrous year for many, but for my family it was a true blessing.
We stayed healthy and avoided Covid.
We traveled/vacationed more than I ever have in my adult life.
My home business grew substantially.
My day job sometimes was ….ok (Better than it has been in years). I also got to work from home for a substantial period. I have a promotion coming up shortly that will put me in charge of the entire foundry. I actually found purpose and satisfaction in my work. That’s nice!
I ended the year with zero balances on all credit cards and a TON of money in the bank. I still don’t know how that is possible with all the travel we did plus having to replace the fridge and dishwasher, but here we are.
I’ve lost 120 lbs since June 2019 and have effortlessly kept it off.
And the best news of all, we found out last week that we have another baby on the way. Yay!
So happy New Year to my SL family. I hope you all were able to make the most of a trying year and I wish you all to have a phenomenal 2021.
01/04/2021 at 10:50 am #84876
Congrats on your 2020. I think people that had steady jobs have actually done well this year since people are spending less so can save more. 120lbs weight loss is huge!
Is this baby number 6? You guys should start a reality TV show 🙂
01/04/2021 at 11:41 am #84880
Yep, #6. We’ll be maxing out our 8 person minivan this year. Doh!
It’s either a 9 passenger Tahoe/Suburban or a passenger van for us in the future if we want anyone else to ride with us.
01/04/2021 at 11:49 am #84881
Do you guys have a number of kids you want? Or just roll the dice and see what nature brings?
01/04/2021 at 12:58 pm #84887
After our first child died, we never put a cap on things or discussed what the “perfect number” would be. Nothing planned, nothing prevented. We can thankfully financially support our children, and we love spending our time with our children. Every one of them is a blessing. Breastfeeding acts as a natural birth control I guess you could say. All of our kids are right around 3 years apart.
If I try looking from the outside in, I can see how it seems extreme. It’s just normal for us though. There is definitely never a dull moment.
01/04/2021 at 1:34 pm #84895
No judgement. I see people who have a lot of kids really loving the whole family vibe. I can see how a big family is something truly incredible to build and will keep paying dividends for years to come as your kids get older and start sharing their life experiences with you.
On the other hand, as two people who stress each week learning to just manage our own small lives, I find it mind boggling to allow the chance to have a new dependent person enter your lives every three years. That would very much stress me out!
01/05/2021 at 9:22 am #84929
Jay, the first kid stresses you out and rocks your world… after you have 2 or 3, the dirty little secret that larger families know is that it’s all downhill from there and gets easier and easier. 🙂
01/05/2021 at 3:26 pm #84952
Lol, I had typed up a response to this and forgot to post it. I’ll retype it as best as I can remember:
1 was easy but new.
2 was pretty easy as a tag team. We work well together.
3 was like hitting 500 items in your ebay store: You better develop some systems and strategies or you are gonna crash n burn.
4+: Meh, just more of the same. Ebaymom is right – it really doesn’t get harder.
February marks 14 years straight that we’ve been changing diapers. It will be really weird one day to NOT have diapers in the house.
01/05/2021 at 9:16 am #84928
Retro, It sounds like your wife and I use the same method/philosophy of child spacing. Not exactly widely known or discussed, but works very well for me!
01/04/2021 at 12:11 pm #84882
Hey Retro, Congrats on your terrific year – that is totally inspiring! I love seeing your $1k/week numbers every week now… Congrats on #6! I am also expecting #6! It’s been a rough road pregnancy wise (so very sick) so my business has been coasting.. not sourcing, just shipping… What kind of mini-van do you own? We have a Dodge Grand Caravan (fits 7) and it is already maxed out. This baby was a bit of a surprise… so.. not sure what we are going to do yet… We bought 2 new-to-us vehicles two years ago with 3rd row seating to accommodate our family… I don’t want to buy another car anytime soon! I think we’ll just make-do for now but kind of rules out any long family trips for us for now…
01/04/2021 at 1:02 pm #84888
Both Honda and Toyota minivans will do 8.
Our previous Honda Odyssey was a 2007 and it did 8, but the middle row jump seat was really small. It would hold a small child – no car seat.
Our current Odyssey is a 2017 and it is much roomier than the 2007. The re-designed the middle row so that the middle (8th) seat is fully functional. You can seat 3 normal size people or 2 and a car seat in the middle row, or even 3 car seats in the middle row.
I wish they had a jump seat option for the front row instead of the center console. I’d love to swap out the storage console for another small seat.
01/04/2021 at 1:13 pm #84890
@retro-treasures-wv Thanks! I guess it looks like an Odyssey upgrade in the distant future… I better get listing. I have seen some aftermarket jumpseat options for my mini-van but they seem expensive and like you said.. the mini jumpseat isn’t really workable for a carseat or older kid… Nice to hear the the newer Odyssey’s have a fully functional middle row.
01/04/2021 at 11:35 am #84879BrianBParticipant
For store owners, don’t forget to acquire your free shipping supplies now that we’re in January 2021.
01/04/2021 at 12:15 pm #84883
Hi Jay & Ryanne, Thank you for your podcasts! Just want to say I got to try Broad Porch coffee and it was great! Can’t wait to try your lighter roasts next. I’m pretty sure someone asked a while back if you would ever get into roasting cacao nibs? I 2nd that question.. I’m addicted to adding these into my greek yogurts… so good… you should look into this! 🙂
01/04/2021 at 12:19 pm #84884
Its an interesting market to consider. Would need to research more. I know Ryanne purchased some once to put in her smoothies.
01/04/2021 at 12:55 pm #84886FullHouseVintageParticipant
What we do with our time? I almost started a new thread but thought i’d just leave this here because I’m most interested in this aspect.
What I do:
About 2 years full time (prior to this I had my own business as well and did the same).
– Annual Time Off – Work hard to be able to take 1-2 months off to do some sort of adventure, usually backpacking, but also include bicycle travel somewhere. I either close store / have someone ship while away.
-Daily Flexibility – being able to enjoy outdoor activities on a daily basis no matter the time of year (winter days where it’s dark at 5pm). Ability to take 2-3 hours after lunch to make each day one where I take care of myself mentally and physically.
How does everyone else spend their free time… days / months / years?
NOTE: I do not have children, BUT have met similar minded people who do, and accomplish the same goals.
01/04/2021 at 1:17 pm #84892
So I guess I have a different outlook on my ebay business than many.
My ebay time IS my mental self-care time.
I truly love every minute I spend on every aspect of my business. Shipping, inventory, organizing, cleaning shoes (Favorite part actually), bookkeeping, etc. I even enjoy working with ebay customer service as long as I’m dealing with a competent CSR.
Last week I was out creating listings for some coats and my wife came out to lecture me saying “this is your vacation. You shouldn’t be working!”. Yeah, it’s not work to me. That’s my destressing/relaxing time. It just also happens to be a very profitable hobby and/or relaxation activity.
So any free time I have that is not my day job or with my family is dedicated to either ebay, exercising, or cooking, and that is not a bad thing at all. I don’t play video games except for with my kids or the occasional couple minutes of Gardenscapes. I don’t have time consuming solitary “dude” hobbies like working on cars or riding a motorcycle. I guess you could say cooking is my other hobby, but I don’t think I’d really classify it as that. I’ve cooked all the meals in our house now for a year and a half. I found that I really enjoyed it. Once upon a time I dreaded cooking, now I find it extremely relaxing to cut up vegetables and prepare meats.
Life is so much better when you can merge the things you have to do and the things you WANT to do. It just isn’t work anymore at that point.
If I were full-time ebay I think the only thing that would change is that I’d be more actively involved in our kids school days
01/04/2021 at 1:31 pm #84894
This is very interesting to hear. I feel its important for scavengers to share how owning their time allows them to do things that are relaxing, fun, constructive etc. Too often (and we’re guilty), we worship at the alter of work work work.
We also really value and love the ability to take breaks whenever we want.
01/04/2021 at 1:03 pm #84889ChristineRParticipant
- Location: Southern California
Well a dismal week with 3 small Ebay sales plus one on Mercari. Mercari did change their shipping input up to make it easier again if you choose suggested weight. Not sure if they are still at high rates though. I listed some of my family’s better clothing there and took a run to the thrift store before the end of the year. I turned Ebay back on on the 24th as usual.
A lot of distraction in 2020 but it looks like I sold about as much gross as the year before surprisingly. The first stimulus checks were a good time for sales, but I’ve had a poor listing year. I still love selling on Ebay but have lost some momentum in 2020. Hope to get it back in 2021. Also looking forward to Ebay simplifying the app based listing. If I can do it completely on my new phone I will make more progress on the death piles.
It was a wonderful buzz to go back to drip coffee and I love the roomy BP hoodie.
01/04/2021 at 1:35 pm #84897
Good to see you keep at it. Slow and steady wins the race.
01/04/2021 at 2:42 pm #84902SharynParticipant
- Location: Central NJ
Week of Dec 27 – Jan 2
Total Items in Store: 1450 eBay, 27 Etsy
Items Sold: 22 eBay
Cost of Items Sold: $38.98 + $8.15 Commission
Total Sales: $436.53 eBay
Highest Price Sold: $70 Copper & brass tone table lamp
Average price: $19.84
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $0
Number of items listed this week: 19
Lower average price but more items and less commission sales, so it was better than last week. My highest sale was also a large item, so I’m happy to move that out.
In November, I found a quiet period in auction sales where I was able to buy some large lots at very good prices. I’m still overwhelmed with all of that stuff. I’m glad to see auctions going high right now while I can focus on listing. Yes, sourcing is the fun part, but I have to cut back for a while.
01/04/2021 at 6:15 pm #84905mscellaneousParticipant
- Location: VA
The idea is so obvious I’m surprised it hasn’t been mentioned yet
Chili Dog focused AirBnB
You’re welcome 🙂
01/04/2021 at 6:50 pm #84909
Or maybe I’ll just make a chilidog for dinner. Keep it simple
01/04/2021 at 7:34 pm #84911PikapopParticipant
- Location: Hampton, VA
@retro-treasures-wv Thank you for sharing about your family, and congrats on #6! I am pregnant with #3 and we are also more crunchy about birth control (NFP). I hear you when you say Ebay is your mental heath/self care time; I feel the same way!
@ebaymom Congrats to you too and I hope you feel better soon! We also just bought a new-to us minivan this year. Maybe a Toyota 2016 (I don’t keep track)? My husband loves it, but he was always an old man even as a young guy hahaa.
Regarding the podcast: I’d probably fit into the “part-timer” description, with hopes of building enough capital to go into some kind of private label eventually. That being said, my thoughts on all this have evolved in the last few years. I don’t want to produce something just to put more junk on the market and compete with a million other people just trying to flood the market. Producing something with meaning (useful, beautiful, or sustainable) would be ideal.
One thing I like about the eBay method though, is how it’s very “teach a man to fish”. I’ve been able to get my husband on board with what I’m doing by explaining to him that we will be able to pass on some kind of real life skill to our kids through this method. That’s important to me.
01/04/2021 at 7:43 pm #84912
Every “private label” item I’ve seen an Amazon person sell has just been some cheap product from China with some made-up brand on it.
Like a set of plastic kitchen utensils. https://www.amazon.com/Miusco-Non-Stick-Silicone-Cooking-Utensils/dp/B08DKFJK3H/ref=sr_1_24
If you look up “Miusco”, it brings up: https://www.miusco.com/pages/about-us
Just a guy who has a handful of items made in China with his brand name. I always wonder how much net profit someone like this makes. Is it as easy as just buying from a factory and having it sent directly to amazon to be fulfilled by Amazon?
01/05/2021 at 3:46 pm #84953PikapopParticipant
- Location: Hampton, VA
I suppose I should clarify and say maybe “Private Label” is the wrong phrase. I don’t want to just slap a random brand name on an existing product and churn out junk. I would like to eventually be involved in the creation of a product that doesn’t yet exist that is serving a niche. But from what I understand taking the first steps can look a lot like the starting steps of private label (building up capital, approaching a factory that does similar kinds of manufacturing, etc).
01/06/2021 at 9:33 am #84977
Understood. Sounds like you want to sell an original item. Private Label usually connotes slapping a label on an already existing item.
I’ve seen horror stories of people who sell original items on Amazon, only to have people start copying the item and undercutting their prices. Here’s a good example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-S24X1O4HEE
Its a cut throat world. But I’v seen people find small niches where they arent making millions selling an original product, but making a god amount selling an item that’s difficult to copy. Think I remember a woman on Etsy who will sew custom curtains for you if you send her dimensions.
01/05/2021 at 9:32 am #84931
Thanks, Pikapop! Congrats to you too! I am starting to finally feel better.. but unfortunately lost my TRS status for the first time in years due to being too sick to get up and pack on time back in October and November. Finally starting to get my energy back and hoping to earn it back next month.
01/04/2021 at 11:10 pm #84917
I think counting my blessings consciously or just being aware of it subconsciously perhaps helps keep me from being burnt out. I just enjoy doing it.
01/05/2021 at 1:40 am #84919Antique FrogParticipant
- Location: Leicester
Mister Miusco could do with a copywriter. What happened to his first daughter?
I suspect Miusco acts as an agency for Chinese manufacturers (the president’s called Guanxin Fu).
Way back in 2019 I bought some chocolate moulds for a friend. The first purchase was from a British firm at £20, the rest were from a drop shipper at £4. Identical product, available on AliBaba at £1.50.
01/05/2021 at 8:20 am #84926
True. But that product is a good example of a “private label” seller. A generic, cheap product with some made-up brand name. Often overpriced. $27 for a set of cheap kitchen tools!
01/05/2021 at 10:53 am #84933Julie BParticipant
- Location: Georgia
The Amazon return stores here in my town are 99% cheap private label crap that was sold on and subsequently returned to Amazon. I believe most of the items are returned because the buyer couldn’t tell from the photos, just how cheaply made most of the stuff is. It’s become a crap shoot to purchase anything from Amazon because we can’t tell if what we ordered will be a decent item, or a piece of garbage. Shopping the local Amazon return stores has really hammered home for me just how much of consumption/waste problem we have here in the U.S.
01/06/2021 at 9:24 am #84975
This is a good point. Most private labels sellers are just really good marketers. Photos of products look amazing. Then you get the item and its the cheapest dollar store junk.
Ryanne has taught me to look on eBay for more of the new items we purchase because we can buy from sellers that take real photos of the real item we’ll get.
01/07/2021 at 2:00 pm #85013
I keep away from anything that looks like private label on Amazon. Those products all remind me of the days when “Made in Japan” meant cheap, throw-away junk. For those type of items I now find myself going back to stores I abandoned years ago due to Amazon: Bed, Bath & Beyond, Target, etc. because they at least curate their products.
01/05/2021 at 9:54 am #84932
Total Items in Store: 1689 (all Etsy)
Items Sold: 30
Gross Sales: $8,171.42
Cost of Goods Sold: $2,985.88
Selling Costs, including “free” shipping: $803.56
Gross Profit (before income taxes, office supplies, etc.): $4,381.98
Highest Price Sold: $1,662.90 (14K Necklace)
Average Price Sold: $272.38
Returns: 1 $282.55 (relisted and already resold!)
Money Spent on New Inventory: $0
Number of new items listed: 17
Not bad for post-Christmas sales.
I’ve been full-time on Etsy for almost 6 years. Before that, I was on-and-off part-time on eBay. I tried going full-time on eBay in 2014, but the restrictions on how much I could have listed at any one time were stifling to my growth. Etsy also has been better at allowing me to set my own customer service policies.
Our goal is for my husband to retire and work with me. We bought a motor home a couple of years ago after we became grandparents, and it makes for wonderful socially-distant travel adventures.
Thank you for the podcast and the blog, and happy new year to all.
01/06/2021 at 9:22 am #84974
Welcome Broadstone. Not sure I’ve ever seen you post here. Impressive numbers! You’re an example of a scavenger who has less items and makes more than we do.
Can you tell us a little about your store? From your numbers, looks like you sell jewelry? What do yu do wit the kind of money you’re making? $4k+ in a week is crazy profit.
01/05/2021 at 1:41 pm #84938DoublythumbsParticipant
- Location: Hopedale, OH
Dec 27 – Jan 2
- Total Items in Store: 4,103
- Items Sold: 42
- Total Sales : $1,293
- * ABOVE yearly average of $1,042
- Highest Price: $160 (Lenox Renaissance Christmas Nativity Shepherds)
- Average Price: $31
- Returns: 0
- Cost of Goods Sold: $77
- Costs of Goods Purchased this Week: $0
- Number of New Items Listed this Week: 50
It was a great way to end the year! Items were flying off the shelf this week. I’m betting people have been spending their eBay gift cards that they’ve received for Christmas.
It’s interesting to think about all the types of sellers there are. My style of selling evolved since I started close to 5 years ago. At the beginning, I had dreams of making it big with this business. I was working non-stop, sacrificing most of my free time and even straining some relationships. Over the years, I’ve mellowed out and found a happy balance. I still work a little more than I feel I need to, but I’m beginning to understand what success really means to me… being happy. Making 100K+ a year would be nice and all, but if I’m killing myself to do it then what’s the point? Now, I take a more easy-going approach. It’s still my main job and source of income, but I work enough to make a nice little profit but not too much to cause added stress. Though I would argue that all of the zealous work I’ve done at the start is paying off now, allowing me to begin coasting a bit more.
I’m enjoying a cup of Broad Porch Burundi coffee this morning. It’s got an interesting flavor for sure! A bit too bright for my taste, but a nice change over my go-to Eight O’Clock brand. Steph got me a sampler for Christmas, so I’ll be enjoying the Costa Rican and the Sumatran here soon.
01/06/2021 at 9:28 am #84976
Its interesting to hear you say how mellowing has been good in your business. I feel this has been a dirty word among resellers. If your not, “balls-to-the-wall” then you’re a loser! I love the mellow lifestyle of a large eBay inventory.
Burundi is definitely fruity and bright. A good afternoon coffee. The Sumatran will be the darker, chocolate flavor for a morning brew.
01/06/2021 at 11:14 am #84984Steven SParticipant
- Location: South Dakota
I used to work very hard at this when I first began as well, I also had just quit a good paying job as a trucker so I was driven by both a desire to succeed and the need to make enough to live on while paying out some hefty child support.
After getting my store up to 900+ items and experiencing a number of good years, like you DT, I’ve mellowed and learned to work smarter and am able to work much less. My day may start early but work usually begins about 9:00 as coffee, reading and hiking are the first activities of my day. I pack and ship then usually list until lunch, after that, I sometimes work on things (stereo repair etc.) but nothing scheduled, at 62 I’ve come to appreciate the joy of an afternoon nap.
I had been using on line auctions quite a bit during 2020 but I’m now looking towards the future and slowly getting to the large backlog of unlisted items in my storage.
I hope to make it to 70 years old before taking SS and then supplementing that with the occasional ebay sale. I also aspire to travel the world staying in Airbnbs for months at a time so I can really experience the culture, I originally thought of settling in central Mexico but then thought, why limit myself, there’s plenty of cheap destinations with fully furnished accommodations.
But that’s still a ways off, I enjoy living single, but things can and will change.
01/07/2021 at 8:45 am #84996
You’ve been an inspiration to us. I like the calm and measured philosophy towards your scavenging. I share your wish to travel to different places and live for longer periods of time. I even have a list already written out.
01/06/2021 at 7:04 am #84967The_SEAM_StoreParticipant
- Location: PA
Popping in to say Happy New Year. I didn’t post much in 2020, but I always listen.
16 year seller…what I do other than eBay? I play guitar, garden, kayak, hike, cook, play frisbee with my wife and our dog, anything I want whenever I want…..(as long as the packages go out)
01/06/2021 at 9:03 am #84971
Good to see you! Happy new year.
I know your wife was going to grad school and you guys were thinking of buying another house near her school?
01/06/2021 at 9:55 am #84981
@Jay Long-time listener, first-time poster. Yes, jewelry is about 80% of my inventory, which all fits into a carry-on size suitcase, which allows us to travel in our motorhome whenever we want to. My other categories include sterling silver tableware, collectibles, art, décor, sewing and crafts, toys, and fashion. Those items get put on extended handling when we travel. We may go back on eBay for some larger pieces like furniture (Etsy does not have a local pick-up option, and Facebook and Craigslist have been hit-or-miss), and also items that are not yet vintage (20 years), but I will need to wait for my husband to retire for that. I have sold a few vehicles on eBay (a Cadillac and a Prius), and that has worked out just fine. Last week was a good week, but the pressure is on for our business to help replace my husband’s income and employer-provided health care (yikes!!!).
P.S. I vote for as many vegan options as possible for the coffee shop. It’s the future. Especially check out Chao, Violife, or Miyoko’s cheese, Just Egg, and Beyond Sausage. I believe all come in food service sizes. Best of luck!
01/06/2021 at 10:15 am #84982
Fascinating. Can you give us an example of yourscavenging and selling?
You said you sold a 14K Necklace for $1,662.90 this week.
–How much did it cost you? Where did you buy it (auction, online)?
–Your COGS seem to be about 25% of yur selling cost. Why do other scavengers not bid up such expendive jewelry since the price of gold etc is so clear?
–Does it take a while for things to sell? Or do you sell items quickly?
–If you average $10k net profit a month ($120k/yr), how much more would you need to make for your husband to quit his job?
01/06/2021 at 11:09 am #84983
I have done well with several auction houses, some high-end, and some low-end. I bid on a lot of items that I don’t win. Since March, nearly all of my auction houses have gone online or gone out of business. So most of my purchases are online with local pickup. Some online with shipping.
I definitely have competition from other dealers, and also people who are buying for themselves, but I know how to figure out how much I will pay, and if the item goes over that price, it’s okay.
Yes, it takes a while for many things to sell, especially the more expensive items. Your podcast has actually gotten my husband more comfortable with the idea of “long-tail” items. He has always encouraged me to put my “stale” inventory on sale. I tell him that with vintage, there’s no such thing as stale. It just gets more vintage! With the precious metals especially, the price almost always goes up over the long run, so my older items sell themselves. Bonus: when a piece of jewelry gets returned, I recalculate the price based on current market value, and almost always re-list it at a higher price. The way Etsy’s algorithm works, re-listed items get a little boost in the search results, and generally re-sell pretty quickly.
My husband is going to retire in a few months one way or the other. We have no debt. He is just used to his income, and will have to adjust to “just” working at the business. 🙂
01/07/2021 at 8:49 am #84998
He has always encouraged me to put my “stale” inventory on sale. I tell him that with vintage, there’s no such thing as stale. It just gets more vintage!
This is going to be our new motto 🙂
I admire your skill and buying + selling precious metals and jewelry. I see all the pieces at auction and it’s just feels too risky to me. Always expensive to buy and then I worry about scammers and returns if we sell. But you seem to do very well.
01/07/2021 at 5:55 pm #85019
@Jay, yes, scammers and returns are a problem on eBay. Not on Etsy. I take returns on anything, and the buyer pays the return shipping. Etsy never forces me to take the return, or pay the return shipping. That’s the only way it works for me. I could never make it work on eBay. And, as I mentioned, I almost always re-list the returned item at a higher price, and it almost always re-sells very quickly.
01/07/2021 at 5:58 pm #85020
That’s right. You only sell on Etsy. Huh, so if an Etsy buyer says you misrepresented the item they purchased, you don’t have to take a return?
Maybe Etsy buyers are just more honest and less dramatic.
01/08/2021 at 7:46 am #85023
@Jay, Oh, yes, sometimes an eBay-trained buyer will try to say that I misrepresented the item, and I just say, send it back. If they try to ask me to pay the shipping, I just show them in the listing where it stated that there was a flaw, or whatever, and that they pay to send it back, or keep it, their choice. Many of them give up when they find out that they’re not going to get a refund and get to keep the item. Etsy has always backed me up on the few buyers who have opened a case. I do have the option to send a return label if I truly made a mistake in the listing, but so far, I haven’t had to do that. I couldn’t risk selling expensive items on eBay, except the aforementioned vehicles (and possibly furniture) for local pick-up.
01/06/2021 at 12:51 pm #84986annaesthetic23Participant
- Location: Flowery Branch, Georgia
Hey everybody! This has been a really fun episode thread to read – Happy New Year! It’s been a crazy time around here, so I haven’t even put together my numbers from last week yet. Right after Christmas, we had a covid exposure, a death in the family, and started installing new flooring in our whole house (ourselves… our quarantine project). A chaotic kick-off for 2021, lots of moving parts, lots of feelings BUT… even with all of that, I am so thrilled that I was finally able to finalize my numbers for 2020 and I’m happy to report that I’ve almost tripled my inventory (from under 3500 to over 9k) and almost doubled my gross revenue (23.5k to 55.5k) since last December. I also got to keep more of that revenue than ever!
2020 was a HUGE year of building for my eBay store. I am really proud of it, and I can’t wait to see what 2021 brings. Once these floors are in (lol) I’m going to take some time to sit and dream and plan and goal set for my store for this year; until then, I’m just shipping stuff out as it sells. I’m thinking I may move the majority of my inventory to storage unit and reclaim my garage for shipping only (and other personal storage, like, oh I don’t know, maybe one of our cars?) and spend a little time getting my inventory system whipped into shape, as well as tightening up some other processes. I’ve focused a lot on building a large inventory and not as much on streamlining/optimizing… I’m expecting to hit 10k active listings by the end of February, so I think at that point I’ll sell and ship as usual, but also take some time to assess and optimize.
One dream I have on the horizon for my store is to somehow start another branch, or possibly a second store remotely in the midwest with one of my best friends from back home. We’ll see. I haven’t figured it out yet, haha. In any case, I’d love to know if anyone besides me neurotically sets goals/plans for their store, or if most of us go with the flow instead of trying to push the river (spoiler alert: it flows by itself). Thanks for reading if you’ve made it this far, and I promise normal/actual numbers next time I post!
Also, the Cameroon coffee is BOMB! I swear, I can’t decide which roast is my favorite! I’m super grateful for Broadporch though, because I’ve got a LOT of listing to do in the near future and coffee is, in fact, for listers! 😉
01/07/2021 at 8:46 am #84997
One dream I have on the horizon for my store is to somehow start another branch, or possibly a second store remotely in the midwest with one of my best friends from back home.
That is ambitious. Would it be an online store that she would run for you?
01/07/2021 at 9:55 am #85000
01/06/2021 at 5:24 pm #84990gargolferParticipant
- Location: Illinois
Total Items In Store: 2248
Items Sold: 54
Gross Sales: $1546
Highest Price Sold: $85 (Vintage Industrial Grinder)
Average Price Sold: $28.61
Returns: 0 $0
Money Spent on New Inventory: $35
Number of items listed: 15
- Happy New Year all!
- Sales picked back up this week and were well above average. A lot of mid-range priced items and nothing over $100.
- Flatware sales have been very good the last few weeks. I love buying sets of flatware for cheap and then listing in small lots by type (salad fork, soup spoon, etc.). In Nov, Dec and Jan I usually sell a ton of them as people try to replace missing items in their sets. Sold one set of 4 dinner forks for $65 this week. I paid $7.50 for the entire set at an auction this summer.
- Scavenge of the Week: Went to Home Depot to see what they had for Christmas clearance for my yard. Ended up getting 10 bottles of insect control concentrate on clearance for $1 a bottle. They consistently sell for $15 a bottle. Unfortunately, Christmas stuff sold like crazy this year, so no good deals on new items for my outdoor lights next year.
- Used the time away function for the first time this week while we travelled to Wisconsin for a few days. I’m very impressed with the process. Worked perfectly and was so much easier than changing the handling time on 15 different shipping options and manually changing the ensuing copies that crop up.
01/07/2021 at 2:52 pm #85016
Good podcast this week. Happy New Year to all! Glad my post about the job title generated some interest. BTW, the job title isn’t on the actual passport, just part of the application. They must be keeping statistics.
Had a very slow week of sales and a very unproductive time with eBay. Lots of computer issues really slowed me down. Upgraded my Internet connectivity and purchases a MESH Wi-Fi system. We have Verizon FIOS and the performance has really gone down over the past year. I assume because of everyone in the neighborhood working from home, and staying in for entertainment. Anyway, called VZ and they suggested a speed boost and new router would do the trick. Upgraded to their 200 Mbps tier and their latest router. The router still didn’t help so bought a TP-Link M5 MESH system. Wow, what a difference. Instead of getting 10 – 20 Mbps at my desk, I’m now getting over 100 Mbps consistently.
Then, my old monitor blew out and in the process of looking for a new one decided to upgrade my computer, too. Got a good deal on an end of year special at Costco. Finally finished setting everything up today, so looking to get back to work.
As I mentioned, very slow sales week and the year ended with a whisper, but the overall year was great. Overall, sales were up about 30% over 2019. Of all my delayed packages I’ve only had to give two refunds so far. Most have finally arrived and one of the refunds repaid after his package arrived. Got one negative feedback on a package that still hasn’t shown any tracking data. From what I read, if there is origin scan I’m out of luck on getting the feedback removed, but the glowing feedback from others has already pushed it down the page and hopefully overshadows the negative.
Week Ending 1/2/21
Total Items in Store: 1136
Items Sold: 22
Gross Sales: $541.89
Net Sales (after fees, shipping, etc.) $434.10
Cost of Items Sold: $27.47
COGS Percent 6.33%
Highest Price Sold: $65.50 Antique Photo
Average Price Sold: $19.73
Money Spent on New Inventory: $0.00
Sold via promoted listings: 16
Promoted Percentage: 72.73%
Average Days Listed: 575
Longest Listed: 1351
New items listed: 0
01/07/2021 at 2:58 pm #85018
Speeds of 100mb! We jealous of those speeds out here in rural VA.
A couple years ago we installed this mesh network at ur home and all our rentals. They;re great: https://store.amplifi.com/products/amplifi-mesh-wi-fi-system
01/08/2021 at 9:46 am #85025
@Jay – Mine isn’t quite that fancy, but it does do the trick. I’m sure for you guys, having the mesh lowers the number of complaints from your renters. Some of the AirBNBs we’ve stayed in had laughable wifi. One we stayed at this summer was unusable and I had to tether my laptop to my phone to get service.
01/08/2021 at 9:49 am #85026
Very true. We find that good wifi = happy guests. But even for ur property, the mesh network helps us get good internet back to our eBay and storage office. Its pretty amazing how far it’ll reach.
But I’d love 100MG to play with!
01/08/2021 at 9:39 pm #85044ItemsfromthesouthParticipant
- Location: Florida
Long time listener but seldom post. My eBay creature story:
22 Year eBay seller here. I started out selling cheerleader uniform and working full time in the school system…both at the same time in 1998. My initial plan was to work in the school until my children were older (about 10 years). Then I got caught up in the “have to have this job for the pay (which increased every year) and benefits. So, I stayed in the rat race. Two years ago I finally quit and crossed over to full time eBay. I have two stores Sunshinecheering…still selling uniforms and Itemsfromthesouth which I sell anything. I truly wish I had made the change over to full time eBay at the 10 year mark like my initial plan was. I am SOO happy to be selling from my home. I truly enjoy my job. I look forward to ScavengerLife every week!
01/11/2021 at 7:27 am #85075
I found an AMAZING 3 piece vintage cheerleader uniform a few weeks ago and jumped on it because I remembered your posts about uniforms.
01/11/2021 at 2:57 pm #85102ItemsfromthesouthParticipant
- Location: Florida
@RetroTreasures: I hope it sells well for you! The vintage ones and the competition ones do the best. The best time to sell the is the beginning of football season up through Halloween.
01/24/2021 at 1:43 pm #85348PopeyesPostcardsParticipant
01/24/2021 at 6:01 pm #85353purpleguppyParticipant
- Location: chevy chase, md
Your episodes are the highlight of my Sundays. Waiting for this one to drop.
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